BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts eased some coronavirus restrictions on businesses Monday, making it much easier to grab dinner and a show.
But health experts warn that lifting restrictions now as new confirmed cases of the virus and hospitalizations decline may lead to more misery down the road.
Restaurant capacity limits have been lifted entirely, but parties must be spaced 6 feet apart with a maximum of six diners per table, and a 90-minute limit per stay, Gov. Charlie Baker announced last week. Restaurants will also be allowed to host musical performances.
Indoor performance venues including theaters are allowed to open at 50% capacity, with a maximum of 500 people.
Capacity limits across all businesses have been raised to 50%.
Recognizing the continued impact of #COVID19MA on our local shops and restaurants, we’re also announcing more than $49 million in awards to 1,108 additional small businesses in the eighth round of relief grants administered by @MassGCC.
⏩ MORE: https://t.co/eSWn48agTg
— Charlie Baker (@MassGovernor) February 25, 2021
Dr. Robert Horsburgh, a Boston University professor of epidemiology, said the state is reopening too fast.
“Opening up these restaurants is going to prolong the epidemic, and increase the number of Massachusetts residents that die,” he told The Boston Globe.
Indoor performance venues and indoor higher-contact recreational activities will remain closed until March 22. The city also won’t allow live musical performances in restaurants until then.